News Worms
News Worms


Short Says Repealing Obamacare With Later Replacement an Option

Short Says Repealing Obamacare With Later Replacement an Option

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hopes that adding $45 billion for battling opioid abuse will help win over moderate GOP senators.

Over the past months, former President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation has consistently registered higher approval ratings from the American public than President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Expect the health care negotiations to be a multi-week process.

President Donald Trump took a different approach Friday, calling for the immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replacing it later with another health care plan if Republican senators are unable to pass their bill. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., have been urging McConnell to consider a repeal-only bill first. McConnell actually sent two outlines, plus several other proposals that may make it into a final bill. Trump's tweet did not appear to suggest a lot of White House confidence in the outcome.

Marc Short, the White House's legislative director, said on "Fox News Sunday" Trump was making weekend calls and believed senators were "getting close" on passing a bill.

By comparison, the CBO predicted that 22 million people would lose health care if the latest version of the Republican bill to replace Obamacare were passed by the Senate.

Republicans have long debated and ultimately discarded the idea of repealing the overhaul before replacing it, concluding that both must happen simultaneously. Paul went as far to say that he did not think the current bill could garner more than 50 votes. Doing otherwise would invite accusations that Republicans were simply tossing people off coverage and would roil insurance markets by raising the question of whether, when and how Congress might replace Obama's law once it was gone.

Earlier this week, McConnell delayed the vote on health care bill until after the July 4 recess, telling GOP senators that he wants to make changes to the bill, get a new Congressional Budget Office score and have a vote after the holiday.

Usually, officials call Trump as the "Fox and Friends" viewer. At the same time, a key House Republican, Rep. Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, rejected Trump's suggestion, contending that it "doesn't achieve what President Trump set out to do".

Short predicted a repeal bill would have enough Republican votes to pass, and "then at that point, if you've repealed it, you can come back with a replacement effort that could be more bipartisan", he said.

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